Management Article

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

Quality professionals no longer focus solely on product or service quality. Today, the quality function is involved in almost every aspect of a company, from customer interactions and compliance management to environmental health and safety, supply chain management, risk management, and more.

A key reason for this broadened scope is the skills that already exist within the quality department. If you already have experience dealing with quality compliance, you already have many of the skills for environmental health and safety (EHS) compliance. If you’re already versed at risk management from a quality perspective, supply chain risk isn’t much of a reach.

Sophia Finn, director of strategy, QualityOne at Veeva Systems, agrees. “More is expected of the quality function, from managing risk to addressing sustainability and transparency across the supply chain,” says Finn, adding that the extended scope has also changed the focus. “As quality is elevated, the duties shift from tactical—like fighting fires—to more strategic—like determining how quality can help companies meet their objectives.”

Dave Klumpe’s picture

By: Dave Klumpe

Recent surveys point to increasing frustration and, frankly, exhaustion among nurses across the country. Although attending to patients during the pandemic has exacerbated the challenges of the profession, nursing shortages have been reported on for well over a decade. It is incumbent on hospitals to do everything they can to ensure that nurses—often referred to as the backbone of our healthcare system—can do their jobs safely and effectively, maximizing their focus on patient care.

Manfred Kets de Vries’s picture

By: Manfred Kets de Vries

Serge faced a conundrum. One of his business partners was in a legal dispute with Serge’s father, Charlie, and asked for his help. Serge knew that his father was prone to suing everyone who crossed his path—including family members. The business partner had repeatedly tried to end this legal fight, to no avail. It seemed like Charlie didn’t want to find a resolution. He preferred to engage in self-sabotage to escalate the conflict. Impulse control was not one of Charlie’s strengths.

Many of us know people like Charlie who enjoy arguing for the sake of argument, and who thrive on drama and conflict. Personality types come in many shapes and colors, but quarrelsome people like Charlie don’t belong to a single one. Their combative behavior is an amalgamation of antisocial (psychopathic), borderline, narcissistic, and histrionic personalities.

The belligerent personality traits

Like many other psychiatric disorders, the specific causes of the belligerent personality have not been clearly identified. There is no known genetic link for this disorder. It is, however, associated with chaotic early child-parent attachment patterns in the form of abuse, neglect, and conflict.

Mark Schmit’s picture

By: Mark Schmit

The Covid-19 pandemic has asked much of manufacturing executives. They’ve had to make decisions about staffing and operations in the face of tremendous health and economic uncertainty—and then adjust or even change decisions based on myriad shifting and evolving factors.

They’ve had to retool to produce new items for a new market to generate needed revenue while helping address an urgent demand for personal protective equipment, or PPE. They’ve had to master new skills and new tools to communicate with workers and customers, and foster community in a period of necessary isolation. Oh, and they’ve had to do all of these at the same time and very quickly.

It’s been a heavy lift, as manufacturing executives who took part part in a Sept. 30, 2020, virtual conversation on the near-term and longer-term impacts of the twin public health and economic crises made clear. The discussion was one in a series of 11 listening sessions hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) called the “National Conversation with Manufacturers.”

Yves Doz’s picture

By: Yves Doz

There is no getting around the hype surrounding agile, the organizational concept originally codified by software developers in 2001. Powered by the demands of a fast-changing consumer landscape in recent years, agile’s reach has stretched beyond software development and now extends to customer relations as well as product and service development.

The agile school of thought holds that reorganizing business activities around cross-functional, self-managed teams, each with a clear purpose and focused on specific customer needs, leads to improved performance outcomes and customer-centric innovation.

Quality Digest’s picture

By: Quality Digest

Digital transformation is the integration of technology into all areas of a business, which fundamentally changes how organizations operate and deliver value to their customers. But what does success look like in a digital transformation? Project is on time and budget? Stakeholders are engaged early and often? Business objectives are met by implementing a digital solution? Stakeholders and end users are able to function in their jobs after go-live? Answer: All of the above!

All too often, change management is limited to communications or training. Although these activities are vital to a successful transformation, they are only components of a change management strategy that is focused on creating awareness, surfacing barriers to change, and achieving and sustaining end user adoption. The transformation is not complete at the time a digital solution is implemented. In many respects, the change is just beginning. A comprehensive change management program will continue to measure user adoption by monitoring quantitative and qualitative success metrics defined in the strategy.

Theodore Kinni’s picture

By: Theodore Kinni

There is no shortage of advice regarding the art and craft of business strategy. Yet, in 2019, when the consulting firm Strategy& surveyed 6,000 executives, only 37 percent said their companies had well-defined strategies, and only 35 percent believed that their strategies would lead to success.

Stanford Graduate School of Business professors Jesper Sørensen and Glenn Carroll peg this lack of confidence in the ability to make sound strategy to a dearth of critical analytical thinking. They find that the strategies that have driven the long-term success of companies such as Apple, Disney, Honda, Southwest Airlines, and Walmart are typically—and insufficiently—attributed to either an innovative vision or the fortuitous discovery of emerging opportunities. In their new book, Making Great Strategy: Arguing for Organizational Advantage (Columbia Business School Publishing, 2021), they assert that neither explanation tells the whole story.

Sébastien Breteau’s picture

By: Sébastien Breteau

It’s been about one year since the Covid-19 impact intensified from a seemingly isolated health scare to a worldwide, ubiquitous tragedy that has upended daily life as we know it. Ever since consumers first faced widespread product shortages of essential items during the early days of the pandemic, ranging from toilet paper to medical supplies and PPE, there has been an unprecedented spotlight on supply chain management.

Although much of the conversation has focused on responding to waves in supply and demand, supply chain data suggest that the pandemic is triggering long-lasting supply chain trends that present both pros and cons for quality measures in supply chains.

Knowledge at Wharton’s picture

By: Knowledge at Wharton

It’s a commonly held belief, one that gets played out daily in organizations around the world: Employees who receive performance feedback are much more likely to improve their performance than those who don’t get feedback. But research tells us that it’s simply not true.

Typically, performance after feedback improves only modestly—and more than one-third of the time, it actually gets worse. People who receive positive feedback often see no need for change, and those who receive negative feedback often react with skepticism, discouragement, and anger, dismissing the evaluation as inaccurate, unhelpful, or unfair.

But if feedback doesn’t always and easily improve performance, what should managers do? Research suggests that “pulling” is a better idea than “pushing.” Pulling entails teaching, coaching, and developing employees rather than pushing—or correcting—them. Pulling says, “Here’s how to get ahead in this company; we’ll provide you with guidelines and coaching to help you master these skills and behaviors.” Pushing says, “You’re not doing very well.” In employees’ eyes, it’s likely to be the difference between challenge or inspiration and criticism.

Ayman Jawhar’s picture

By: Ayman Jawhar

Product management as we’ve known it up until now—as a limited function or role—is effectively dead. However, viewed as a culture, product management is thriving. I predict “product culture” will be central to the future of work in digital economies. Yet knowledge workers, executives, and business educators unfortunately remain indebted to the old paradigms of product. They’re lagging far behind.

That was the argument I made in my previous article, to which quite a few readers took offense, with comments like:
“IT folks should stop complicating product management as if they were the first people to discover it!”
• “Disingenuous. Product function is an evolution, not a revolution.”
• “This is a good example of the nonsense published about the product.”

These strong sentiments were welcome because they’re a reminder that, in scientifically rationalizing work, we have forgotten how deeply personal and subjective it is. We also limit the power of collective work if we treat it only as a virtual assembly line between functions, roles, and organizational matrices.

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